3 Steps for Maintaining a Positive Culture in a Remote World

Some are predicting a mass job search exodus once the pandemic has passed. Here are three important changes you can make to align workers around a common purpose and increase your culture, flexibility and openness in the workplace.

What transpired as a necessity in the middle of a chaotic environment is finding its footing and is here to stay. We’re talking about hybrid work environments, and they are coming back bigger and better than ever. According to a recent study by PwC, 83% of employees claim remote work environments have been a success. Employees appreciate the flexibility offered by a blend of on-site and at-home work, and they value companies that allow them this flexibility.

Remote working has given employees unprecedented freedom of choice. Employees can now choose where they live, where in their house they set up their office or, in some cases, even the choice to work during those hours in which they are most productive.

Another major choice they have in this post-pandemic world is the freedom to easily leave a job if the situation isn’t right for them. However, approximately 76% of employees state they would be more willing to stay with their current company if they could work flexible hours, and 25% of organizations that allow for remote work have a lower employee turnover rate.

When the workforce can literally go anywhere, it’s time to double-down on retention efforts. This includes turning our attention inward and adapting our work environments to ensure we are setting our hybrid teams up for success.

Here are three important changes you can make to align workers around a common purpose and increase your culture, flexibility and openness in the workplace:

Increase recognition — You most likely have recognition programs already built into your organization. But are they enough? According to a survey we conducted to measure the relationship between trust, alignment and commitment among employees and their companies, 74% of employees reported they were more likely to remain an employee of that company if they felt they were being properly recognized.

Don’t wait for an annual celebration or performance review to reap praise on your team members. Instead, surprise and delight with employee gifts like points they can redeem on a reward platform. These points can be awarded at any time, are extremely easy to gift to remote employees, and your employees have the freedom of choice in how they spend their rewards points.

Improve work/life harmony — The relationship between our work and our life is actually quite complex. What’s successful one day may not be so successful the next, depending on work schedules, school assignments, board meetings or kids’ sports practices. Plain and simple, it’s hard to achieve work/life balance. Instead, let’s think of it as work/life harmony.

According to our survey (conducted prior to the start of the pandemic) 42% of employees said they were more likely to remain in their jobs if their work situation was flexible enough to meet their personal and family needs. The pandemic has amplified the need for work/life harmony, and flexible work environments support this more than ever. In order to retain top talent and keep your workforce engaged, it is important to understand that work/life harmony is a fluid situation that changes as employees’ needs change.

Implement a reward and recognition program — Verbal compliments and handwritten cards only go so far in recognizing your team. We all like to be rewarded for a job well done. It’s time you up the ante and formalize a rewards and recognition program to improve the relationship between your organization and your team.

Rewards and recognition programs incentivize your remote and in-person teams to work toward a common goal. Your team is inspired and motivated to do their best work because they are rewarded for their efforts along the way. In the end, rewards and recognition programs do wonders at creating a team environment, establishing trust among colleagues, and deepening the commitment from your employees. When properly designed, they lead to increased outputs which improve your company’s bottom line.

Your employees have many choices, and that can be a bad thing. Help them make the easy choice to stay with your company by offering the flexibility they desire and engaging them along the way with a positive work culture.

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Nicole Neal is vice president of employee Xperience at One10, which provides incentive and recognition programs, travel and events and marketing services that inspire employees, dealers, channel partners and customers for many of the world’s largest brands.